Although the exploration and the cataloguing
of the Istrian fort hills Castellieri began at the end of
the 19th century and at the beginning of the 20th century,
nothing had been known about the existence of the Monkodonja
Fort hill before 1953 when its remains were found by the
curators of the Istrian Pula Archeological Museum, Boris
Bacic and Branko Marusic.
Monkodonja is only one of the 350 fort hills so far registered
in Istria. The settlement was encircled by defensive walls
1 km long, 3 m wide and more than 3 m high - built in stone
wall technique of blocks weighing more than a few tons.
The front and the back face of the wall were built of monumental
blocks while the space in between was filled with smaller
stones. The stones necessary for the building were excavated
from the very building site at the top of the hill, at the
same time creating space-terraces necessary for building
the houses. There were two entrances to the settlement one
from the north and one from the west. The western gate, which
faced the nearby seashore, was the main entrance to the fort
hill settlement. This gate, at the beginning only a simple
passage through the wall, was later, due to the increasing
danger of enemy attacks, reinforced and made a respectable
peace of defensive fortification. This fortified gate not
only served to prevent the enemies from entering the settlement,
but had also the purpose of diverting their attacks. The
northern gate is much simpler being, in reality, a narrow
zigzag corridor leading in and out of the settlement.
The settlement was divided into three parts. On the very
top of the hill there was the settlement acropolis encircled
ba defensive walls. That there lived the richer families
show the remains of bigger buildings made of stone and wood.
Outside the acropolis there was the upper and the lower city
with simpler houses and buildings for craftsmen's workshops.
It is estimated that 1000 people inhabited the settlement
- quite a number for a prehistoric settlement of that kind.
During the exploration, which is still in course, many peaces
of ceramic articles for everyday use along with a certain
number of metal objects have been found, which have all helped
to date the settlement in the period of the early Bronz Age,
between 1000 and 1200 B.C.
Copyright Touristic association
of Rovinj, text: D. Matosevic